Vietnam ranks low on World Giving Index

By Nguyen Quy   October 21, 2019 | 05:00 pm PT
Vietnam ranks low on World Giving Index
A boy in old school uniform checks a boarding room donated to his school in Ha Giang Province, northern Vietnam, September 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Duong.
Vietnamese people have supposedly been less generous than neighboring peers, languishing in the bottom half of a global charity ranking by a U.K.-based international NGO.  

The country ranked 84th out of 128 economies in the World Giving Index released last week by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), an international organization that "promotes giving to transform lives and communities across the world."

The CAF surveyed more than 1.3 million people in 128 countries and territories around the world over a decade between 2009 and 2018.

The survey asked people if they had helped a stranger or someone they didn't know who needed help, donated money to charity, or volunteered their time to an organization. They collated answers to these questions to formulate the World Giving Index.    

Vietnam scored an overall 26 percent, far behind its Southeast Asian neighbors such as Myanmar (2nd), Indonesia (10th), Thailand (21st), Malaysia (30th), the Philippines (33rd) and Singapore (46th).

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam was only above its neighbor Cambodia (102nd).

The report revealed that 42 percent of Vietnamese people are ready to help strangers while only 23 percent donated money to charitable activities. Meanwhile, only 12 percent of Vietnamese respondents said they had volunteered their time to help charitable organizations.  

The U.S. stood at the top, followed by Myanmar, New Zealand and Australia. The rest of the top 10 were Ireland, Canada, the U.K., Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Palestine, Serbia, Yemen, Greece were ranked lowest in terms of generosity, with China ranked the least generous country, the report said.

CAF warned that there has been a recent downward trend in donations from countries, such as the U.K., U.S. and Canada, which have long histories of philanthropy and household charitable giving.

Nine million Vietnamese people are still living in extreme poverty, earning less than $2 per day, according to a World Bank report released last year which calls for more alleviation efforts despite the success so far.

In Vietnam, poor people are defined as those who earn up to VND700,000 ($31) a month in rural areas and VND900,000 ($40) in the cities. According to market research firm Trading Economics, Vietnam's average annual salary at the end of 2018 was VND67.46 million ($2,920).

The country currently has 142 ultra-rich individuals, those with a net worth of above $30 million, seven more than the number in 2018, according to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2019.

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